Have you ever had a dream where you are trying your best to get somewhere, but everything goes wrong and you cannot get where you need to go? You are stuck! That is a recurring dream for me, and you wake from such a dream exhausted—and thankful that it’s a dream!
But being stuck and going nowhere can be a reality for us all too often. One of those stuck places is false guilt. I’ve written a book on this topic—Why Do I Always Feel Guilty?—because I know how many wasted days I’ve spent wallowing in false guilt and I see others doing the same thing.
False guilt is that guilt which you do not deserve. It comes in several forms, such as:
- Feeling guilty for your past which has been forgiven and forsaken. God has forgiven you and he remembers that sin against you no more, but you can’t forgive yourself. So, you’re stuck in false guilt.
- Feeling guilty for vague and unknown reasons. This is that false guilt we take on when we feel unworthy; when we just assume we’re guilty because we have such a low view of who we are in Christ.
- Feeling guilty because we allow others to condemn us. The Bible says there is now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus and no one has the right to condemn us. Yet how often do we allow words of condemnation from others to permeate our hearts and mire us down in false guilt?
- Feeling guilty because we aren’t able to live up to others’ expectations of us—or even to our own unrealistic expectations of ourselves. We just assume that we should be able to jump through everyone’s hoops, and when we don’t, we take on false guilt
Are you stuck in false guilt? I want you to know that God never deals with us through guilt. He will deal with us through conviction when we need it, but that is for the purpose of bringing us to repentance, and then the conviction and guilt are gone.
How do you get unstuck from false guilt? Pray specifically for freedom from it; rebuke the enemy when he tries to dump it on you again and again. Become intentional about moving forward and leaving that false guilt behind.
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